There's a lot of talk this week on how to stop Vick, so I will dive into another interesting match-up that's flying under the radar; Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz against Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott. McDermott is an extension of the late great Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and since 2009 the Eagles defense is tied for 1st in takeaways and tied for 2nd in sacks. That stat pretty much shows you that this defense hasn't missed a beat since Johnson's passing. Because of McDermott being a Johnson disciple, Bears players, coaches, and fans are not going to see anything totally new. Martz and Jay Cutler are going to see a whole lot of looks from McDermott: corner and safety blitzes, linebacker stunts and blitzes, their hybrid DE's/OLB's either rushing or dropping in zone coverage. If the protection can hold up, and Cutler reads it right, then Martz can have success with big plays down field.
Key Players to watch against McDermott's defense:
Greg Olsen - Martz will need to take advantage of Olsen's speed and athleticism against the Eagles linebackers. The threats of Devin Hester and Johnny Knox on the outside will most likely force McDermott not to bring a safety down to cover Olsen. We might see McDermott use a lot of dime packages to counterattack Martz's plan to use Olsen, and he can get away with doing that with Trent Cole and Brandon Graham on the outside. In my opinion, I don't see that happening too much because it takes away from what Sean wants to do and that's blitz. I'm looking for Martz to take advantage of the Eagles linebackers' lack of range by using Olsen and maybe a little of Kellen Davis.
Hester and Knox vs. Asante Samuel - Three routes Martz might take advantage of against Samuel are the dig route, quick slant, the double move. Samuel doesn't play press coverage that much, opposing to play off his man so he can have an opportunity to jump a route. What Knox and Hester have to do against Samuel on dig and slant routes is simply shield him with their bodies to get in a better position to catch the ball. They can't just sit and wait for the ball to come to them or else he will jump the route and pick it off every time. The double move can be effective if the protection holds up enough. He might have a couple chances to try it during the game.
Protection vs. Brandon Graham and Juqua Parker - It will be interesting to see just how Martz deals with Graham and Parker (if he plays) against Rookie J'Marcus Webb. I Imagine we will see some chip blocks from the backs and a little of Brandon Manumaleuna lined up next to him.
Matt Forte - It seems that Martz has gotten away from using Forte split out wide against a linebacker. We might see more of that this Sunday along with continuing to run him out of 3 WR sets. The receiving threat of Forte should be a key weapon when Olsen is lined up against a corner. McDermott will be expecting Martz to use both Forte and Chester Taylor on screen passes often.